Delighted to confirm firstly, that Scotland’s inaugural Blockchain Democracy Summit has taken place.
Global blockchain pioneers flew over from Australia for the occasion, 3rd – 5th March at Fife’s Balbirnie House. Australia’s flag was of course raised.
The event was organised by Neil McEvoy of DigitalScotNews. As one of Scotland’s most renowned and experienced digital technologists, Neil is Scotland’s blockchain democracy project leader.
For innovation and technological revolution, Neil’s stated scale of ambition for Scotland, is very considerable indeed. The blockchain summit set out all planning, for Scotland to now become the world’s leading digital democracy country.
Specifically, Scotland is now to be enabled with capability to become a global pioneer of blockchain democracy, with that capability created as a standalone Not-For-Profit entity, operated as MiVoteScot.
The summit was attended by Adam Jacoby, Founder of MiVoteAus. Adam is a 2017 Codex world top 50 innovator. Adam was joined by colleague Charlie Caruso, MiVoteAus Resident Cyclone and Head of Global Growth.
The cutting edge of world innovation delivered by MiVoteAus, is translating into a blockchain democracy online platform for Scotland. There will be future capability for all Scots to express non-binary opinions, all best described as a tremendously exciting and brand new form of global modern era democracy. Blockchain technology will enable evolving national opinions, to be measured in a totally new and modernised way.
Scotland’s blockchain platform is to be designed and created by the MiVoteAus sister blockchain company HorizonState, regarded as one of the world’s most truly innovative and inspiring blockchain companies. HorizonState work exclusively on redesigning democracy for the 21st century.
The related technology itself, defined by HorizonState market value today, as already having a technological worth of circa £50million, is being made available to Scotland, incredibly, without any cost being charged.
MiVoteScot will enable Scots to express opinions, as never before. Fundamentally, it will also allow Scots to familiarise with such online capability. The word ‘blockchain’ won’t actually be the focus for most Scots. Most Scots will simply acknowledge the system, as ‘secured online voting’.
It is hoped that Scotland can use the technology so successfully, that other countries across the globe will be inspired to do the same.
The intention is to initiate MiVoteScot without any prior government support. It’s obviously imperative at outset, that the unprecedented security and identity aspects are fully demonstrated for all to see. On proviso that users are satisfied in these regards, all involved can than call on all aspects of government, and all political parties to participate.
The workings are also underpinned constitutionally, by an Ethics committee, whose role is to ensure zero bias and provision of totally factual substance.
After users express an opinion, they will have the ability to share that opinion on social media.
During 2017 MiVote considered over 30 global projects, but have only decided to assist with 3. Scotland was selected due to the level of blockchain groundwork which has already initiated, the strength of the 1,400 strong blockchain community, the presence of Edinburgh University’s Blockchain Technology Laboratory, and the stated digital democracy ambition of the Scottish Government. It is also recognised that there are many potentials to deliver a worldwide showcase for pioneering new democracy.
MiVote believes that real democracy is characterised by some critical underlying principles. These and the operating model are deliberately designed to ensure that every citizen’s vote is equal, all voices are heard, citizens are informed and no one can buy political outcome. By design, MiVote attacks so called ‘fake news’ and information echo chambers, and unashamedly seeks to end careerism in politics, by asking participants to once again embrace the idea of genuine civic service.
MiVoteAus founder Adam Jacoby says, ‘I do contend that the changes required for the people of Scotland to win back their self-determination are only found in actions that turn the world upside down. For it is the complete dislocation of the powerful to their power, that will be the catalyst for lasting and positive change for everyone else’, continuing, ‘We cannot merely wish for change, and hope it will arrive. It will not. We must create it. I ask the great Scottish people if they are ready to own their voice, their future, and their power again’.
Blockchain democracy is resolutely driven by zero bias. If there’s to be significant changes to future society in Scotland, then it’ll need to be driven in totality by democratic participation.
Scotland’s blockchain democracy project leader Neil McEvoy is in the transitional CEO role of MiVoteScot, and also adds, ‘It’s new to all of us in some way, because we’re all building something which has never been seen before. We’re figuring it out and learning together, and it’s been great for all involved to see and welcome such public support, especially on social media. It was lovely to welcome our Australian guests, and breathtaking to see Scotland receive such an offer of assistance. It’s now humbling in the extreme, to think of what could potentially be achieved for Scotland showcasing a new form of modern era democracy’.
The meeting also finalised a Scottish government submission paper, titled ‘Digital Scotland, a Blueprint for Digital Democracy’. This paper is submitting into the current Scottish government Consultation on Electoral Reform. Beyond and entirely detached from the scope of MiVoteScot, Scotland’s government will have a defined option of extending all future elections into e-voting underpinned by blockchain technology.
Those in and around MiVoteScot especially look forward to seeing how this new modern era democracy can increase digital inclusion, and accelerate democratic participation across all of Scotland.
As a recurring theme on YesDayScotland twitter, one fine day in the future it would be amazing to see Scotland achieve a listing in the annual World Happiness Report. There is no reason why a top 5 listing can’t eventually be achieved, but getting there will only be driven by inclusion and democratic participation.
In the meantime, the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate has begun work on an online identity assurance and authentication mechanism for the country’s public services. The plan spins off the Scottish Government Digital Strategy, which was published in March of 2017, and includes a commitment to develop digital public services around user needs.
So how will Scotland’s blockchain interface work? It could certainly base each user ID today, on existing NI (National Insurance) numbers, or CHI (Community Health Index) numbers.
As a better more visionary alternative perhaps, Scotland’s youthful and OAP citizens already have NEC’s (National Entitlement Cards), each with a unique Digital ID number. The Scottish Government can easily issue NEC’s with unique Digital ID numbers, for all other Scots. If the Scottish Government take this particular step as soon as is possible, it will also in turn enable government, to accelerate all aspects of their own stated digital plans. Current digital timeline in progress, suggests that capability could be enabled in Spring 2019.
As global blockchain accelerates, there’s also the increasing scope of self-sovereign identity for all. Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is an identity that is 100% owned and controlled by an individual or organization. No one else can read it, use it, turn it off, or take it away without its owner’s explicit consent. This simple form of identity is private, extremely secure, and goes where you go. This will enable trusted interactions to occur between individuals, institutions, and businesses.
Given all these quite incredible citizen-led blockchain plans in progress, we have to wonder when Scotland’s government will step on up and do what is required? They need to create a brand new department for Blockchain Democracy, and align a team to prepare Scotland for all future elections via new technology, fit for the 21st century. In immediate terms, our government needs to embrace all potentials, introduce official trials, confirm regulation and compliance. Digital exclusion is still currently a massive challenge for Scotland, so plans need to define in conjunction, so as to resolve that at the same time. Our entire country needs to be enabled for a new digital future. Relevant examples today, Estonia and the Swiss city of Zug – info via links below.
And what about the Independence question? We have been reliably informed that YES will not be calling any referendum, until and if YES knows YES will win it. The apparent and only plan, is to put Scotland through Brexit, and hope that it’s so bad for Scotland, that many previous No to Indy voters, will therefore change their minds and switch to YES? With respect, that’s not the best plan. Especially if it’s going to cost Scotland (per Westminster’s Brexit papers) £12.7billion a year!
A better plan would be to regulate Blockchain Democracy, and then ask Scotland for opinions. On a national level. And the absolute best way to do that, is via the combination of technology, and community activism.
In the meantime, if Scotland’s government does not act before MiVoteScot concludes trials and starts asking significant questions, then we’ll potentially see the emergence of a massive MiVoteScot YES for Indy, underpinned with verified citizen ID’s, but summarised on an unregulated digital platform. Such considerations are the drivers of digital revolution.
As a final point, MiVoteScot is being created in Scotland, in 2018 – the Scottish government’s Year of Young People. Without doubt, because it’s technology-based, blockchain democracy will be mainly driven at outset by young people. Many young Scots will in turn wish to introduce older Scots to the technology, so there’s potential for the finest community spirit ever seen in Scotland.
Best wishes to one and all.
THIS IS WHAT SCOTLAND COULD DO!
Estonia has a quarter of Scotland’s population.
We have built a digital society and so can you. Named ‘the most advanced digital society in the world’ by Wired, ingenious Estonians are pathfinders, who have built an efficient, secure and transparent ecosystem that saves time and money.
Switzerland’s Cryptovalley sets a standard for Scotland to follow.
Zug And uPort See First Citizens’ Identity Registered On The Ethereum Blockchain
Nicholas Russell has edited and collated accelerating global ongoing blockchain narrative for Scotland’s media birthplace for blockchain in these contexts, via twitter @YesDayScotland – Blockchain and (DLT) Distributed Ledger Technology potentials, firstly initiated on that media source for Scotland, back in January 2016.
Phases 1 and 2, of Business for Scotland Blockchain Trilogy
Previous blockchain articles:
How Blockchain technology can transform voting in Scotland
Blockchain academics define a new future for democracy in Scotland
Phase 3 in Trilogy, the first ever Scotland Westminster MP article on Blockchain Democracy, now in progress via MP Martin Docherty-Hughes.
DigitalScotland: Blueprint for Blockchain Digital Democracy
Architecting For Delivery at Horizon State
Edinburgh University Blockchain Technology Laboratory
Scotland’s Blockchain Community
Scottish Government Digital Directorate
Scottish Government Digital Strategy
Scotland: National Entitlement Cards
The World Happiness Report
The Year of Young People